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REF NO.: 352

SUBJECT: Symposium looks at exploration of Labrador through literature, history, archaeology, autobiography and folklore

DATE: June 28

Memorial University’s Labrador Institute will host for a symposium on Exploration in Labrador, from June 27-30, 2005. The symposium is part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the journey of Mina Benson Hubbard and is being organized in partnership with the Labrador Heritage Society, the Town of North West River and the Central Labrador Economic Development Board. The symposium will take place at the Labrador Interpretation Centre.

The symposium will bring together researchers to look at the idea of northern exploration as it occurs in literature, history, archaeology, autobiography and folklore. The gathering and its published conference proceedings will establish the beginning of partnerships in research which will link the theme of exploration in Labradorwith concepts of "north" as part of identity.

“Labradoris situated where north meets east and its identity is therefore linked to both orientations,” said Martha MacDonald, researcher at the Labrador Institute. “This means that in examining the idea of north Labrador is less-explored territory, because it is on the outer limits of Inuit land use and is of lower latitude than ‘north of 60’. Yet the characteristics which resonate with those who research the north are firmly in place: the presence of aboriginal people, the geographic isolation, the challenging climate, the history of exploration for exploitation and finally the hold on the imagination which is a central idea in Canadian concepts of the north, including the voyages of exploration. We hope that the symposium will open up new avenues of inquiry into the particular form of northernness that exists in perceptions and lived experience in Labrador.”

Scholars, including Dr. Sherrill Grace, Dr. Reiner Baehre, Anne Hart, Dr. Roberta Buchanan, Dr. Derek Wilton, Dr. Stephen Loring, Dr. Wendy Roy and several others, will present papers involving the theme of exploration in Labrador.

“Exploration as a theme represents the classic 19th-century romantic ideas of ‘noble savages’ and large landscapes while allowing for a modern interpretation of the notion of voyages, interior and exterior, looking for a definition of nationality of gender and of environmental identification,” said Ms. MacDonald. “Exploration in the north has always carried that contradictory narrative: ‘discovering’ a place which was already there, but discovering it personally for the purposes of each individual. We will be examining the records of journeys as a form of history somewhere between oral and written, as a form of literature between autobiography and narrative, and as a cultural reflection between indigenous and European.”

The symposium will initiate new partnerships in research between scholars and in association with community groups to foster a new understanding of the north and of those who have made it both their quest and their goal for centuries.

Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives. The symposium agenda is attached.

Symposium on Exploration in LabradorAgenda

Monday, June 27:

7 p.m.– Registration and opening wine and cheese reception at the Labrador
HeritageMuseum. Welcome by Ed Blake.

Tuesday, June 28 (The Explorations of Mina Hubbard):

9-9:15 a.m.– Registration and welcome by Labrador Institute Staff.

9:15-10 a.m.– Opening Speaker: Sherrill Grace, “A Woman’s Way Through
Unknown Labrador Reading Mina Benson Hubbard in 2005”.

10-10:30 a.m.- Wendy Roy, “Exploring Expedition Photographs and Maps in
Mina Hubbard’s A Woman’s Way Through Unknown Labrador”.

10:30-11 a.m.– Coffee Break

11-12 a.m.– Anne Hart, “Mina Hubbard: Her Life and Ways.”

12-1 p.m.– Lunch at the Community Centre in North WestRiver.

1-1:30 p.m.– Roberta Buchanan, “Mina Hubbard's Diary: Private and Public

1:30-2 p.m.Joanna Kafarowski, “What the Land Tells Us: Eastern
LabradorThrough the Eyes of Mina Hubbard and Alexandra Pratt”.

2-2:30 p.m.– Coffee Break

2:30-4 p.m.– Panel discussion, “Family Portraits: Descendants of Labrador

6:30 p.m.– Dinner Theatre at the North WestRiverCommunity Center

Wednesday, June 29 (Explorers From Away):

9:30-10:30 a.m.– Jim Davidson and John Rugge, Topic: The untold prologue
from Great Heart.

10:30-11 a.m.– Coffee Break

11-11:30 a.m.– Jerry Kobalenko, Topic: Solo trekking across Labradorin

11:30-12 p.m.– Peter Armitage, “Nutakuanan – the parable of Herman J.
Koehler and his 1931 disappearance.”

12-1 p.m.– Lunch at the Community Centre in North WestRiver.

1-1:30 p.m.– Philip Schubert, “George Elson’s Hike for Life, in Reverse.”

1:30-2 p.m. – Stephen Loring, “Traveller's Tales x Two: American
Adventurers in Labrador (Including Oscar Leiber of the
U.S.Eclipse Expedition to northern Labrador in 1860 and
William Brooks Cabot's travels with the Innu between 1903
and 1910).”

2-2:30 p.m. – Coffee Break

2:30-3 p.m. – Susan Kaplan, “Donald B. MacMillan: Explorer, Teacher, humanitarian.”

3-3:30 p.m. - Derek Wilton, “The lure of Labrador rocks – 19th century
geological exploration in Labrador.

3:30-4 p.m.– Coffee Break

4-5:30 p.m.– Panel discussion, local people discuss exploration.

6 p.m.– Dinner at the Community Center (LabradorFood?)

7 p.m.– Movie Night at the Labrador Interpretation Centre to feature films
about Labradorexploration: Susan Kaplan (BowdoinCollege) showing “Historic Labrador in Motion: Selections from motion picture film footage taken on Donald B. MacMillan’s and Robert A. Bartlett’s Expeditions” and Victoria King (Factory Lane Productions Inc.).

Thursday, June 30 (Indigenous Interiors, Elizabeth Penashue to open the day)

9:30-10 a.m.– Elizabeth Penashue (Innu elder, leader of annual walk
through Nitassinan) – Keynote Speaker.

10-10:30 a.m.– Stephen Loring, “ "Not all that glitters is gold": 7,000 years –
or more- - of Indian history in Nitassinan.”

10:30-11 a.m.– Coffee Break

11-11:30 a.m.– Susan Felsberg, “People: Labrador’s very first export.”

11:30-12 p.m.– Scott Neilsen, “Following in the Footsteps of Development:
the Revitalization of Intermediate [Amerindian] Period Archaeology in Labrador.”

12-1 p.m.– Lunch at the Community Centre in North WestRiver.

1-1:30 p.m.– Rainer Baehre, “Dr. Rudolf Virchow Explores the LabradorInuit:
A Case Study of 19th Century Medical and Anthropological Discourse.”

1:30-2 p.m.– Sharon Taylor, “Intimate Journeys: examining narratives for
meaning in the quest for spiritual and social transformation.”

2-3 p.m.– Coffee and roundtable on future research possibilities in

3 p.m.– Field trip by boat to the mouth of the NaskaupiRiver. To include a
picnic supper. Separate registration required for this event.

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For information on the symposium contact: Martha MacDonaldat (709) 896-6213or


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